Radiotherapy and driving

Hi  I had my lumpectomy on 4th May  and radiotherapy starts on 10th August so have really struggled with the long wait,  I  have positive lymph nodes so having radio to my arm pit and chest wall Left side so am doing the breath holding   my question is driving,  my husband does not drive and we do not live on a bus route and many of my friends live quite a way from me.  I will have about a 45 minute drive and probably an hour or so to get to the hospital,  I have  been given lots of advice re driving myself and wonder how other people have managed.  Do I ask for hospital transport or risk driving myself  I am having 15 sessions to armpit, chestwall and neck lymph glands  Thanks all for your advice re Aveeno cream in the fridge.  

Hi @dianeta 

 I live 2 hours away from the treatment centre my partner stayed home and went to work and I stayed nearby with a relative. It was 35-45 mins drive through a busy city alone so a bit hair raising the first time. I worried about parking but the Hospital had a huge multi storey and I always found a space quickly. Reception gave me a letter at first visit to say that I was having essential treatment - I waved it at Security who then raised the barrier to let me out without paying. I sometimes felt tired straight after treatment so I stopped and had a coffee( and cake !) before driving back as there was a Costa there. After caffeine sugar and a sit down I always felt ok to drive. 

 My treatments stopped over the weekend and I drove home for the weekend and back again on Monday.

 Most Hospitals recommend you have someone with you I think but it was still Lockdown when I had mine , nearly everyone was on their own and nobody asked me. My Breast Care Team had agreed that I should be ok to drive also.

I only had 5 treatments but as you’re having 15 you might find towards the end that you don’t feel quite sharp enough to drive, then again you may be fine . Even though he doesn’t drive you might find it helpful to have your husband with you - sometimes they can tailor the time of your appointments to suit you. 

Some friends had Hospital transport with mixed experiences - one in an Ambulance found it tedious and time consuming BUT her treatment centre was a good 90 minutes away anyway .Another was driven by a voluntary driver (organised by the Hospital ) which she recommended to me but I get travel sick so prefer to drive if I can. Also I was at a different Hospital and I don’t know if that service is/ was available there. 

Your Breast Care/Radiology team / Hospital website may have information about what is available. I’ve been told some Hospitals have free accomodation attached . 

With best wishes for your treatment and recovery .

Joanne. X

Investigate hospital transport and any voluntary groups providing transport to hospital and doctor appointments. It sounds as if you could do with a rest. The only downside is sometimes you have to wait  a long time after for your pickup. Alternatively maybe a friend could take you there and back. Radiotherapy doesn’t take long.


Hi Joanne  thank you for your reply  lots to think about



My radiotherapy sounds quite similar to yours. My drive to the hospital was around 40 minutes, and I was lucky that parking was excellent, I never had a problem finding a space.

My husband came along to keep me company, but I was quite ok doing the driving. A few times I felt a bit stiff after laying in position, and again I was lucky, the hospital had a cancer well-being centre opposite the radiotherapy department, with comfy settees and a very nice calming environment, with drinks on offer which was a nice place to chill before the drive home. 

good luck with your treatment

Hello,  Thank you,  did you get very sore or tired once treatment finished?   thank you for replying,   going for planning this afternoon,   am pleased it is here  the wait has been very difficult, 


The effects definitely develop over time. I was never really sore, but my skin did get quite pink and red and itchy in a couple of places.

I was asked how I was when I went in for every session, and I did comment on the itchy patches. They prescribed me some flamigel which was very effective. 
My radiotherapy was in the morning, and after the 1st week I did find that I often dozed off if I sat down after lunch. I think I felt most tired about 2 weeks after I finished treatment, but nothing unmanageable. I had to pace myself, if I over did it one day I felt it the next, and left housework to my husband for a few weeks. 
Waiting is awful isn’t it, and there’s much too much of it. 

Hi Dianeta,
I was certainly able to drive myself there and back, and my drive varied between 45-75 minutes each way.

I only did a five day course, so I don’t know how that would affect it. Mine was whole breast. You may be totally okay, but I would imagine you will definitely be okay for the first week or so, so you can always request it if you’re finding it too hard.

You have had a long wait! The cold Aveeno tip is great, I’ll second that, and add if you have an aloe plant, using the gel fresh from that was wonderful.

Kelly xx